Overcoming oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

Posted by Mnmbig4 @mnmbig4, Oct 24, 2011

We have a 17 year old foster son with ODD. I understand positive reinforcement techniques which are working well at home. But, the bus, the school, the locker room (when the coach is out of the room) are proving to be major obstacles that could prevent him from graduating from high school.

Has anyone dealt with these issues successfully in similar circumstances?

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Yes, it may be necessary to home school or have him in a different environment. When my son was younger (he is 17 now) he was in a very strict private school. This only exacerbated the condition and he was nearly expelled. Then he started to experiment with drugs. I took him to a psychiatrist that talked to him and told me he needed to go to another school where he could have more freedom. I had been telling his father the same thing for a few years but to no avail. Finally, his dad agreed and it is the best thing that ever happened. He is at the new school now and doing very well so far this year. I had several meetings with principal and assistant principal, etc. in order to keep our son from being expelled at the previous school. Maybe it will help if you go and talk with the administration about the situation. Hopefully, they will see if they are aggravating your son's condition further. Hope this is helpful to you.


hi, i was just mulling over your question and then i came back to the computer and read the other responder's reply. this is better than my answer. there are schools with horseback-riding and skiing and a lot of outdoor activities. my experience with ODD Iis that they usually have ADD OR HDAD so these physical outlets help them. plus if there's little competition in the sports and they're done for fun, for 'sport' this is better. i know it will cost but it will be a lot more expensive down the road if he drops out, gets depressed and gets into legal trouble. if you cannot afford it, you could bring his papers to his present school re diagnosis and a letter from the dr or therapist if he has one. you could, perhaps, write up a letter or have his therapist (assuming he has one) write one for you that would be given to all staff. you could ask for a meeting with all staff to discuss this. if he hasn't one, perhaps he could get one and maybe insurance would cover this but, if you feel you can't do this, changing schools is good but it is another adaptation and only you know how well he might adapt. another idea is if you have a close relative who could deal with this problem and who feels there's a friendly, caring school in their area, that given the medical info would be well able to handle his needs, then you could send him there. if you trust that relative, then your son will. good luck


My 15 year old grand daughter is failing just about every class but 2 and barely passing those. Has no interest in succeeding at anything. School is for socializing. Home is for sleeping and eating. As long as you're not asking her to do homework and she can listen to music, eat, and sleep the world is her oyster. Opposition happens passively for the most part... The small things can turn big if she's irritated. Going back and forth can get explosive so make your point, hold your ground, and walk away. Left is right and up is down. You're told you're not listening but only because you're not saying YES. You will get questioned over and over no matter how many times you explain why and say no so don't bother repeating yourself. It will only escalate your blood pressure. Let them walk away. Don't get angry and follow them to exhort power or demand respect. They're not caring or giving it. Then there can be vindictiveness against you in the form of your missing or misplaced things. If there is any substance use involved, it's really sad/bad. All I can say is have support for yourself, meditate, pray, and walk away. I've wanted to give up many times but the very sweet side appears more times than not... Even an apology at times... Even from me. I try to keep in mind this is an illness but still try to make sure she knows we still have chores, rules, and expectations even if she doesn't do them or do them on time or well. I listen to a lot of YouTube videos by Dr. Russell Barkley and Dr. Ross Green for insight. It's hard to watch someone you love self sabotaging their life.

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